Newly-elected Mayor of the Hills Shire, Clr Yvonne Keane, has described her vision to ensure the Hills develops as an inclusive, connected, creative and spectacular community.
Mayor Keane said that throughout her time as Mayor, she will focus on key priorities with the community firmly at the centre.
“Each one of us is unique and deserves the opportunity to live a wonderful life,” she said.
“As the parent of a child with a hearing impairment, I understand how important it is to encourage a community that is inclusive, open and understanding.”
Mayor Keane said she believes Council’s responsibility is more than just providing services and infrastructure, or drawing lines on a map.
“We also have a social responsibility to grow a connected community. I believe Council can be a very effective grass-roots agent for change,” she said.
Mayor Keane said she is extremely proud of the role Council played in connecting community, business and philanthropy from which The Sanctuary – the Hills women’s shelter – was born.
“I am fortunate to serve as Chair of the Board for The Sanctuary and it has swiftly become THE benchmark service in the sector, providing vital services for women and children,” she said.
Mayor Keane said she would look for opportunities to ensure all sections of the community had reasonable and equitable access to services and assets.
“I would love to see a landmark playground in our network that caters for all abilities and is a catalyst for bringing a broad section of our community together,” she said.
Maximizing opportunities for the creative and performing arts is also high on Mayor Keane’s agenda.
“We have an enormous talent pool of creativity here in The Hills,” Mayor Keane said.
“We have the talent, we like to be entertained and I’d like to see us identify and develop opportunities to foster and view that talent locally,” she said.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were able to work with partners to establish a performing arts ‘centre of excellence’ that attracts the finest arts schools and businesses to The Hills?”
Mayor Keane said that with the arrival of the Sydney Metro NorthWest will come a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a spectacular community.
“It is time to turn our attention to how our new station precincts will develop while maintaining the quality of life we hold so near and dear,” Mayor Keane said.
“I will do my best to ensure that infrastructure keeps apace with our growth. And where Council is not the agency responsible for delivery, I undertake to encourage our State and Federal agencies to work hand-in-hand with us on a program of effective delivery,” she said.
“We know that more and more people will want to call our Shire home and while we readily accept that higher densities around future stations will become home to new residents, we are predominantly a family Shire and we need to ensure these areas are designed to be highly liveable and family friendly.”
Masterplanning the Castle Hill Showground to become a world-class regional centrepiece of the North West Corridor is a key priority for Mayor Keane.
“It is my dream to lay the foundations to create an area that will thrive and pulse, day in and day out, with commerce, community and activity,” Mayor Keane said.
“The Castle Hill Showground precinct could become a highly activated place that will serve us spectacularly into the future,” she said.
“What is before us is a once-in-a lifetime, golden opportunity to create ground-breaking new precincts from the blank canvases around the new stations.”
Mayor Keane has assured the community that Council will continue to deliver projects in The Hills Shire Plan, as well as these aspirational new precincts, in a smooth and well-managed process under her watch.